Getting excited for 'The Dark Knight Rises' yet? You should be, if the soundtrack is anything to go by we're possibly looking at a film even darker and foreboding than 'The Dark Knight' in 2008 that saw Heath Ledger play his last legendary performance as the sadistic Joker and Christian Bale make the caped crusader role his own.

Empire Online is streaming the entire soundtrack of the new film on its site. It is again written by Hans Zimmer, as were the previous two of Christopher Nolan's films, but this is the first time he'd done it without any co-writers. This hasn't resulted in a huge stylistic shift, but there is a bleak tone that is of course down to the content of the film as much as it is any change in Zimmer's own influence. Highlights include the tribal marching drums and chanting of a track titled 'Gotham's Reckoning' that sees them battle against ferocious staccato strings and trumpets, whilst more ponderous tracks like 'Born In Darkness' remain heavily based around orchestral arrangements too.

The overriding sensation from listening to the soundtrack is of tension, struggle and strife. It's hard to read into what this means for the film purely on soundtrack alone, but it suggests that Batman is really going to have his work cut out to bring home the bacon this time out.